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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

More than just a Sunday wander-about...

God did something the law could never do. You see, human flesh took its toll on God’s law. In and of itself, the law is not weak; but the flesh weakens it. So to condemn the sin that was ruling in the flesh, God sent His own Son, bearing the likeness of sinful flesh, as a sin offering.  Now we are able to live up to the justice demanded by the law. But that ability has not come from living by our fallen human nature; it has come because we walk according to the movement of the Spirit in our lives If you live your life animated by the flesh—namely, your fallen, corrupt nature—then your mind is focused on the matters of the flesh. But if you live your life animated by the Spirit—namely, God’s indwelling presence—then your focus is on the work of the Spirit.  (Romans 8:3-5 VOICE)
Ernest Hemingway is quoted as saying, "Never mistake motion for action." His advice is quite correct, for not all movement or motion is action - it is simply aimless wandering!  For movement to be "right" or "worthwhile", it has to be movement toward something we set our eyes upon - an end, a goal.  As a child, some of my fondest memories are of Dad getting Mom and I into the car after church on Sunday morning, then heading out somewhere on a "Sunday drive". We'd end up at an eating establishment somewhere along the way, some quite posh and others just run of the mill, but always memorable!  Why?  It was a movement toward a goal - even though it might have seemed like a little aimless wandering.  The goal?  Family!  Dad was taking time to share with his favorite lady and his little girl.  In the end, memories were made, character was created, and relationship was cemented in ways impossible if we would have just come home and vegged in front of the tube!
As long as we continue to attempt to live this life of a child of God in the ability we can muster, we are marching in place.  We are in motion, but we never really move.  We just cannot break free of the past, nor can we move into the next phase of what God has for us until we begin to move 'toward' him.  I am so excited to tell each of us that we don't move toward God on our own, or under our own power.  We move because the Spirit of God energizes us to move - his power within us does more than just draw us to him - it empowers us to take the very steps which begin to do more than just "mark time" in some "maybe someday" kind of existence.
William Shakespeare said, "We know what we are, but know not what we may be."  In essence, the Spirit of God is given to each of us so that we don't have to wonder about what we "may be" because he is busy within us "making us" be what it is we are called to be!  We can spend obnoxious amounts of time and money trying to figure out what it is we "want to be" at some point in life. I watched a couple of those shows the other day which focused on people seeing plastic surgeons in Beverly Hills in order to "remake" some part of their body into the image they wanted to see.  I have to give these doctors credit, for when it made absolutely no sense to mess with what the individual had, they told them!  Sometimes we are so caught up in what we think we should be that we take any movement toward that end, but is that movement always the right one for us?  Not always!
What we may be...something only God really sees.  No wonder he gives us his Spirit within!  He knows we need that insight more than any other thing in our lives - in order to not move in the wrong direction, or to just "bide time" in the place we would be best to actually leave!  It is the "what we may be" which often eludes us, but because of the grace of God within us, we don't need to live in uncertainty, nor do we need to settle for "second-best" in our lives.  We are called forward - toward a goal - not because God needs us in "motion", but because he has a purpose for the movement!  Perhaps he has as much purpose for the "movement" as my Dad had on those Sunday afternoon drives.  Just sayin!